1
MOST CLIENTS SERVED
Overall Rating

4.9

Overall
Rating
4.9
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line
2
BEST VALUE SERVICE
Overall Rating

4.7

Overall
Rating
4.7
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty fee!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line
3
Overall Rating

4.4

Overall
Rating
4.4
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR – Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit – Maximum $1,000. Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
4
Overall Rating

4.2

Overall
Rating
4.1
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
5
7,800 Reviews
Overall Rating

4.1

Overall
Rating
4.9
  • Get approved in seconds with our simple online credit application
  • Guaranteed $500 credit line with Group One Platinum
  • 0% interest fee
  • Bad credit, no credit? No problem!
  • Reports to major credit bureaus
  • No employment or credit check
  • Member benefits include: 24/7 Roadside assistance, legal assistance and discount prescription plan
  • Member initiation fee $29.95 due on approval

How to Get A Secured Credit Card With Poor Credit History

Secured credit cards are designed for those who have poor or nonexistent credit history who are looking to build their credit and eventually upgrade to better credit cards.

Because these cards are typically given out to those with a low credit score who may not be approved for more mainstream credit cards, a form of collateral is needed for acceptance.

Most of the time, this collateral is simply a security deposit to ensure the card provider. The amount of the deposit typically determines the credit line that is approved and can range from $200 to $500. The deposit is required in case you ever forget to pay off a monthly bill, which will then be covered by a portion (or all) of your deposit.

The following infographic from CreditOne bank displays the differences between secured and standard credit cards:

In this short guide, we’ll be discussing the steps needed to acquire a secured credit card, our top recommendations, and potential alternatives.

How to get A Secured Credit Card

While secured cards are typically easily accessible for those with a low or nonexistent credit score, it doesn’t mean that everyone is approved for one.

Who Gets Approved?

One of the first things that the issuer will do when you’ve inquired for a secured credit card is analyze your credit report and check for any signs that may show you are an unacceptable credit risk, and therefore not eligible for a secured card. For example, possible signs could include too many open accounts, a recent file for bankruptcy, or if you’re far behind on other accounts.

Additionally, proof of income is typically required in order to prove that you’ll be able to pay off the monthly bills. Your deposit is there for insurance in case you occasionally slip up, however, this is only used by issuers in a very resort scenario. Your income is the expected channel of paying off the bills, therefore in most cases, it’s required to be proven.

It’s also important to keep in mind that all secured credit card issuers are different, so it’s essential to do adequate research on each one and determine you have the right qualifications and income to be accepted.

The following infographic from MyBankTracker show’s the difference between credit scores as well as what impacts it. This is a great reference when determining your own credit health and strategizing a plan to build it up.

The Process

The actual process for applying and acquiring a secured credit card is pretty similar to the process for standard cards. However, each step is important to follow correctly as you’re trying to build your credit score back up or from the ground up, which has risks of its own.

1. Application

The application process itself is typically very straight forward. You apply for the card directly from the issuer, and then it’s their time to evaluate the risk of accepting your request based on the factors mentioned above.

If you check off the qualification boxes, then congratulations! You’re approved.

2. Fund Deposit

After approval, the next step is submitting your initial deposit. Most issuers won’t open your account until this deposit is secured. Bank account information is required in some cases to allow for instant transfer of funds for the deposit, thus meaning instant access to your secured credit card account.

However, it’s also normal for issuers to allow for some time (typically up to a week) for the deposit to be made. If the deposit is failed to be made, your approval status for the secured credit card will most likely be stripped and declined.

3. Receive & Activate Card

After approval, and after the deposit funds have been submitted, you’re just about done! Now, the issuer will send you your card, and you can begin using it as normal.

When trying to build credit, in general, it's best to use less than 30% of your available credit at any given time. It’s also especially important to not max out your card shortly after receiving it. This is asking for a worse credit score and the possibility of getting your secured card rejected.

4. Consistently Pay Bills

Due to the nature of secured cards and that they’re typically used by those with a low credit score, the interest rates are usually very high. Because of this, it’s best to pay your bill in full each month to avoid racking up ridiculous fees in interest rates.

5. Upgrade to Better Cards

The whole goal of using a secured credit card is to build up your score and increase your credit reputation with banks and lenders. If you’ve been consistently using your secured credit card, and paying off your monthly bills on time, it won’t take too long to start seeing the increase in your score.

Once you’re ready, it can be time to start looking for credit card upgrades to an unsecured credit card, both in the way of extended credit, lower interest rates as well as an increased number of perks and benefits. These upgrades can sometimes be done directly through your secured card issuer. In other cases, you’ll have to contact your bank and convert your secured account to an unsecured account in order to apply for an upgraded unsecured credit card.

Top 5 Picks

At OurComparisons, we extensively analyze secured credit card providers to provide you with updated, accurate recommendations to base your secured card decisions off of.

These are our top 5 recommendations for 2020, you can view our full list here.

1. Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card

      Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Low purchase and cash advance APR of  19.99% -- — with no penalty rate.

      No minimum credit score requirements! All credit types are invited to apply, no fees.

      It helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus.

      Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.

      Initial security deposit can be as low as $200

2. Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card

      Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!

      No minimum credit score requirements

      It helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus

      Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line

3. Applied Bank Gold Visa

      Better than Prepaid…Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time — Keep On Using

      Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required

      Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus

      9.99% Low Fixed APR — Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late

      Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit -- — Maximum $1,000. Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime

4. First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard

      No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
Quick and Complete Online Application

      Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

      Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History

      Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 — $2,000 Submitted with Application

5. Group One Platinum

      Get approved in seconds with our simple online credit application

      Guaranteed $500 credit line with Group One Platinum

      Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History

      0% interest fee

      Bad credit, no credit? No problem!

      No employment or credit check

      Member initiation fee $29.95 due on approval

Secured cards are a great option for those with poor or nonexistent credit card histories to begin building up their score, as well as gaining access to credit that would otherwise most likely not be approved.